Urruti (2012- 2014) and Katharina Schaeff (2011-2014) who studied The IB Program recently came back to Oxford to visit us We were delighted to see them and find out about their lives after St Clare’s and how The IB program helped them
Tell us what you have been up to recently?
Katharina: After graduating from St. Clare’s in 2014 I went on to study Politics and International Relations at New College of the Humanities in London. I loved living in London and the city has so much to offer and there is always something new to explore. With so many of my St. Clare’s friends studying at other London universities or near by, it sometimes felt like we never really left Oxford!
I now work for Touker Suleyman, one of the dragons on BBC’s Dragon’s Den, and his private investments. I mainly focus on Matchstick Monkey, a start up in the nursery and baby sector. We are a very small team of three, running the day-to-day business of Matchstick Monkey, with me concentrating on national sales and marketing. It is extremely exciting, as we only recently launched our first product and are growing incredibly fast to now be already selling in over 30 countries worldwide. Every day at work is different from another, which I especially enjoy, and I could not recommend more highly working in a start up. The learning possibilities are endless and your opinions can really shape the direction of the business.
Paula: At the moment I am currently doing my final year of Arts & Sciences at UCL. Last year I lived in Paris as part of my year abroad and now I am back in London finishing my studies. I am majoring in Economics and this year I took modules in Political International Economy and Strategic Project Management. My minor is in genetics, and I’ll actually be pursuing a career as a consultant in Life Sciences at Charles River Associates when I graduate from uni. My job offer is for October so I hope to go traveling for a while after I finish my exams!
What did you like most about St. Clare’s ?
Katharina: Besides the amazing academic experience, I made the most incredible friends while at St. Clare’s with most of who I am still in constant contact with and see regularly. Having studied at St. Clare’s made me accepting and open-minded towards all forms of culture. It has taught be to work determined and disciplined towards my goals and to question the norms.
Paula: I loved my time at St.Clare’s, it’s such a good place to study and live and I really loved the people I went to class with and the friendships I’ve made! I also really cherish my teachers, who have taught me so much and helped me get to where I am today. (Had it not been for Mark Watt’s words I would not have been studying Economics right now!) St.clare’s made me more confident, helped me decide which career I wanted to pursue and gave me a space to grow as a person.
How did the IB Diploma prepare you for the future?
Katharina: The IB was a great programme having studied in preparation for university, as it has taught me to work independently on a wide variety of different subjects. Especially the research and evaluation skills learnt have been particularly helpful for my degree. Time management has also been a valued skill for my further studies.
Paula: The IB diploma makes the transition to university much smoother. All the subjects are great, with interesting and relevant content that gives students a full understanding of the subjects they take. Additionally, TOK is a great subject that everyone hates while doing but is thankful for once they’ve graduated. The IB, in general, has made me better at questioning the world around me, and it is thanks to the IB that I chose to pursue a degree in liberal arts so that I could keep studying various subjects during university.
Is there any advice you would want to tell our current students?
Katharina: The only advice I would give is that working hard for the IB will be worth it at the end and that the friends you make in St. Clare’s will stay with you for many years to come!
Paula: My advice would be to enjoy your time at St.Clare’s! Make the most of the resources the school offers, enjoy Oxford and enjoy all of the activities and resources devoted to you. I also really strongly recommend studying hard, because it is worth it.